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Sharon Bishop
Communications Manager

Sharon Bishop leads communications for SPECIFIC. She obtained her degree and research masters in Materials Engineering from Swansea University in 1999 and worked as an engineer in the power industry for five years before moving into public-engagement with science.

Sharon joined SPECIFIC in 2014 from Cheltenham Science Festival where, as Director, she led its growth to attract 50,000 members of the public and over 300 participants a year.

Since 2006 she has been involved with FameLab, a global competition and communication training programme for scientists, and still runs the Wales part of the UK competition.

Sharon is a founding member of Swansea University’s public engagement forum and a member of the board of Oriel Science. She was also a core part of the team that brought the British Science Festival to Swansea in 2016, and established the annual Swansea Science Festival in partnership with the National Waterfront Museum.

Dr Christian Bryant
Commercial Engagement Director

Christian has extensive knowledge transfer experience at the interface of academia and industry, delivering the commercial imperative to opportunities. He is an accomplished promoter and broker of near market technologies both in the UK and overseas, possessing a strong network of senior level contacts in the private, public and HE sectors.

He has a proven record of strategic programme development and project management at the Welsh Development Agency and at Welsh Government. He has an academic background in the physical sciences obtained at Bristol (BSc Chemical Physics) and at Cambridge Universities (PhD and Post-Doctoral studies) and held industry and commercial positions in engineering (British Steel and Philips Electronics) and telecommunications.

As the Commercial Engagement Director, he is responsible for team management; (Project Management, Business Development and Technology Transfer staff); leadership and coordination of industrial engagement with multiple business partners; and joint leadership of the strategic direction of the IKC.

At SPECIFIC, Christian has led the delivery of KPIs and Targets against business plan; secured short-term collaborative R&D funding from the technology pipeline; developed a portfolio of projects with partners; and successfully promoted and brokered technology opportunities from the research base. He had a leading role in the business planning that secured long term funding for SPECIFIC itself and his role in stakeholder management has enabled SPECIFIC to be positioned as an integral node in the UK’s Innovation Ecosystem and in Welsh innovation strategies and programmes. A former pupil of Cefn Hengoed Comprehensive School, Swansea; he is a Chartered Physicist (CPhys, MInstP) and Scientist (CSci). Most importantly, he is an avid Swansea City supporter!
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Dr Joanna Clarke
Design Manager

Academic Papers

Joanna is a registered architect, working in a commercial architectural practice for 13 years prior to joining SPECIFIC in 2013, where she uses her architectural knowledge and experience to support the design and delivery of Active Building projects.

In her role to assist the team at SPECIFIC to drive forward new technologies from research through to commercialisation, she designed, and project managed our two building demonstrator projects – the Active Classroom (2016) and the Active Office (2018). These buildings demonstrate the Active Building concept, using both novel and commercially available technologies, and were delivered collaboratively with construction partners.

Her current role involves leading national and international activities on the architectural design of novel next generation demonstrator buildings, including an Active Classroom for rural villages in India, being delivered through the SUNRISE project.

Sustainable built environment | Integration of renewable energy technologies into building fabric and architectural design | Zero carbon buildings – how to achieve zero carbon, influencing culture change within the construction industry to enable zero carbon targets to be met | Developing tools to enable the adoption of low/zero carbon, low energy, Active Buildings by built environment professionals
Areas of Interest
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Professor Matthew Davies
Applied Photochemistry and Circular Economy Lead

Academic Papers

Professor Matthew Davies is head of the Applied Photochemistry Group in the SPECIFIC IKC, Materials Research Centre, College of Engineering at Swansea University. Matthew is an EPSRC Innovation Fellow, Fellow­­­ of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Council Member of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division of the RSC.

His research is focused upon the photochemistry of materials that are useful for low-cost photovoltaic applications, with the ultimate aim of improving stability, light harvesting efficiency and performance. This mainly focuses on perovskite solar cells but also includes research into dye-sensitised solar cells­­­­ and organic photovoltaics.

Matthew is particularly interested in the characterisation of re-manufactured devices (“photochemistry/photophysics of the re-use of materials”) and developing materials and processes to enable re-use and re-manufacture within a circular economy to develop for the next generation of solar PV materials. He also has research on developing renewable energy solutions for rural Africa in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Photochemistry of printable photovoltaics | Physical chemistry | Materials chemistry | Circular economy | Distributed renewable energy systems for developing countries | E-waste
Areas of Interest
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Dr Eifion Jewell
Industrial Coatings Research Lead

Academic Papers

Dr Eifion Jewell has a degree and PhD in mechanical engineering at Swansea University. He was a founder of the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) specializing in the field of innovative manufacturing using printing and coating technologies.

He has also carried out extensive fostering of emerging technologies and nurtured commercial exploitation in printed flexible electronics through UK Knowledge Transfer Network. Eifion joined SPECIFIC in 2012, taking a lead role in developing the pilot manufacturing facilities and associated scientific capabilities.

He is currently Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering, with responsibility for Welsh medium provision through the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol support programme. His research interests include functional coating materials and their characterization, deposition technologies for scalable manufacture of functional coated products and thermochemical storage.

Dr Justin Searle
Building Energy Systems Research Lead

Academic Papers

Having studied analytical chemistry at Swansea University, Justin went on to complete an engineering doctorate studying the photostability of PVC paints. His work involved the development of a rapid test for the assessment of photodegradation of coatings and their components, including assessing both the rate and the intermediate chemical species produced. Justin was also co-developer of Swansea’s 3-dimensional scanning vibrating electrode instrument, capable of investigating the corrosion processes occurring on non-planar samples such as welds and formed components.

On completion of his doctorate Justin worked within Tata Colors, at Shotton Works in Deeside. During his almost 10-year career in industry, he worked within the Technical Department, primarily looking at through process improvements for both galvanising and colorcoat lines.

Justin returned to work within SPECIFIC at the end of 2011. During his time at SPECIFIC he has developed automated solar cell testing equipment to increase the throughput of the characterisation of devices and also a system of examining the solar cell lifetime via an automated light soaker and IV tester. He has worked and collaborated across many of the research themes within SPECIFIC and for over 3 years Justin managed the technical relationship and project development for one of SPECIFIC’s strategic partners.

In 2016 he took on the role of Deputy Research Director, assuming responsibility for managing the research and development pipeline and team development working closely with the academics and technologists to define research targets and strategic planning. In 2018, Justin took on the role of Technology Director leading the technical delivery teams for buildings, systems integration and technology demonstration, responsible for technology demonstration and delivery at building scale.
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